A Tax Law Maven
Professor Steven Dean, who teaches and writes in the areas of tax policy and tax law inequality, joins BU Law.
Steven Dean joins the BU Law faculty as a professor of law and the Paul Siskind Research Scholar. Previously, he was a visiting professor at BU Law in 2022. Prior to BU, Dean was vice dean at Brooklyn Law School. He also led NYU Law School’s Graduate Tax Program, serving as faculty director. Dean’s work focuses on the causes and consequences of inequality, both domestically and globally, with a particular focus on tax policy and an emphasis on anti-Black racism.
“I want to show why tax law should be something that everyone learns about, not just those planning to be transactional lawyers,” Dean shares. “If you care about people, you also care about tax (but you might not know it yet).”
Dean has been a member of the executive committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Tax Section since 2011. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Tax Association and the American Tax Policy Institute. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee about the impact of racism on tax policy, served as a consultant to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and been a general rapporteur for the International Academy of Comparative Law.
BU Law has a reputation for faculty that are not just exceptional scholars, but also exceptional teachers, and I have heard so many rave reviews from students who took the courses [Dean] taught here last year as a visiting professor.
“I am especially excited to have Professor Dean join our tax faculty,” Christina Rice, assistant dean of graduate, international, and online programs shares. “BU Law has a reputation for faculty that are not just exceptional scholars, but also exceptional teachers, and I have heard so many rave reviews from students who took the courses he taught here last year as a visiting professor. I am also grateful to have his expertise in both international tax policy and the role of racism in shaping tax laws to bring new strengths to our tax course offerings.”
Dean has published books about taxation, philanthropy, and social enterprise, and articles in a variety of traditional and popular venues, including the NYU Law Review and The Nation. His current book project, Global Jim Crow: Taxation and Racial Capitalism (forthcoming with Oxford University Press), explores the impact of Africa’s decolonization on the trajectory of global tax regime. Both his most recently published book, For-Profit Philanthropy: Elite Power and the Threat of Limited Liability Companies, Donor-Advised Funds, and Strategic Corporate Giving (Oxford 2023), and his first book, Social Enterprise Law: Trust, Public Benefit, and Capital Markets (Oxford 2017), were written with Dana Brakman Reiser. He also wrote Federal Taxation of Corporations and Corporate Transactions (Aspen 2017) with Brad Borden.
Dean created and hosted two seasons ofThe Tax Maven, a podcast featuring influential tax law experts discussing their scholarship and answering questions about tax. He practiced tax law at Debevoise & Plimpton and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Before attending law school, he worked at KPMG. He graduated from Yale Law School and Williams College and studied at the University of Trier in Germany. Dean spent his childhood in Nassau, Bahamas and loves to bake.
“I went to law school to study tax, fascinated by the justice implications of what appeared to be a purely technical subject (also, I just really like tax law),” Dean shares. He advises BU Law students to “try as many subjects as you can. You never know which one will become your life’s passion. Tax law was not an obvious career for me but once I began learning about it, I couldn’t stop.”